Grumman TBM-3S2 
Avenger MLD 
[ page 2 ]

Trumpeter TBM3W Warner variant of Avenger model kit in 1/32 scale (conversion)
Dutch Naval Air Arm (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst MLD) 
modelling report

  ....Continueing from page 1....

[ Steps 37-44 ]
Assemble all as shown. The wing folding assembly needs some time.
The wing fold mechanism is OK, and the various parts sprayed white. It was elected to keep the wings foldable as this would save cabinet space when the model is finished. The trailing edge flaps would be kept movable; this required filling and sanding the ejector pin marks in their interiors. 

[ Skip steps 45 & 46]
no guns on this variant.

[ Step 47-51]
Attaching the wings is very easy and the fit quite good. The flaps and ailerons were kept movable and are nice touches. (Leave the engine and cowl for later).

The metal edges were blended in with the main wing with putty. The wing ends were kept movable and also the flaps were not fixed.

[ Steps 53 - 56 ]
Assembly the gears and stabilizers as shown. To the gearlegs, some hydraulics' tubing was added made from thin metal wire.

Before going to the next Step 57...

The interior areas were covered with tape and the overall model was given a first light grey primer coat; this was applied to check for any flaws in assembly at this stage (Humbrol 64 light grey). 
Some areas,"pre-shaded" stripes of mat black were applied with the airbrush. (You don't need to do this at this stage however)

The gear legs were NOT yet added.

It was now time tor the TBM-3S2 observer window modification. You need to make a window yourself. This was done with the "plug method", creating a master from balsa wood first. 

The observer window shape was derived from pictures and the cross sectional shape of the rear upper window. 

Ensure the shape and especially the width is OK in order to get a good fit to the cut-out area on the rear upper fuselage of the kit later on.

A sheet of clear acetate plastic was heated up to 170 degrees Celsius and with the help a homemade vacuform wooden box, the clear plastic was vacu plugged over the mould also using a household vacuum cleaner. 

After a couple of tries, a clear observer window was achieved. 

Trimming and cutting the moulded shape of clear plastic was next.

The home made rear observer window was now to be fitted to the fuselage. Strips were set along the gap edges to get a strong joint between solid plastic and the clear vacu part.

The clear areas were protected with masking tape. The glazing required quite some masking. Note the this Avenger -3S2 has a different glazing lay-out than most Avenger versions. 

All edges were carefully glued and "sealed" with "liquid glue"; this is the ordinary plastic glue with some small pieces of sprue dissolved in it. It gets you strong joints and ensures no fluid can get inside the glazing of the fuselage if you carefully close all gaps with it; note that you will not be able to do any clean-up later on inside....

Next  putty was applied also over the liquid glue and all edges were treated and sanded smooth. 

[ Step 58 ]
Continue assembly, but most parts here are not needed: the rockets, bombs and tanks are not fitted to the TBM-3S2. Also, the antennas J16 + J41 are not needed.

At the tail area, a small fairing was obtained from the spares box for the external tail hook. The ridge seen below is to be cut off...

Note that the lower window was already filled up with card and and faired in with putty.

[ Steps 59 + 60 ]
The glazing areas are quite OK now, but carefully assemble the forward parts with the windshield. 

The vertical mid-frame on clear  side panel part #K6 should not be there for a TBM-3S2. Sand away using fine grid and polish with Tamiya rubbing compound until clear.

The wing tips lights are nice touches to the model. 
The cowling, engine an d propeller were fitted. Note that there should be indeed an edge at the top of the cowling where it meets the fuselage. 

The parts #K13 and D6  are not needed, part #G36 is at a slightly different position. The pitot #H50 at the wing tip is very breakable! Leave until later. 

We are almost there! Only now to start applying the rest of the paint scheme.

On to next [ Page 3 ...] 

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Created this page June 29, 2009